The Ethical Executive: Becoming Aware of the Root Causes of Unethical Behavior: 45 Psychological Traps That Every One of Us Falls Prey To

By Robert Hoyk; Paul Hersey | Go to book overview
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TRAP 43 :
SOCIAL DOMINANCE ORIENTATION

SOCIAL DOMINANCE ORIENTATION (SDO) is a trait that delineates one’s “preference for inequality among social groups.” it is the wish that the groups and organizations you belong to (business teams, corporation, social class, gender, ethnicity, country, and so on) be “superior” and “dominate.” Unlike authoritarianism, which is “a desire for individual dominance,” “SDO is regarded as the desire that some categories of people dominate others.”1Authoritarianism is a trait that is interpersonal. People who are high in SDO aren’t necessarily authoritarian. They can strive for equality when relating to people within their in-groups. But their perceptions of those outside their in-groups are significantly affected by this trait.

SDO can be measured by a questionnaire that has been developed by Felicia Pratto and her colleagues at Stanford University. People taking the questionnaire rate their positive or negative feelings on a scale of 1 to 7 (1 = “very negative”; 7 = “very positive”) in reaction to sixteen statements. People who are high in SDO have a positive reaction to statements in the questionnaire such as “Some groups of people are simply inferior to other groups,” “To get ahead in life, it is sometimes necessary to step on other groups,” or “inferior groups should stay in their place.”

People who are high in SDO have poor empathy, tend to be intolerant of others, and are low in altruism. Pratto writes, “[O]ur data

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